Khoya Aloo Mutter

I have woken up late. It is a holiday. I don’t go downstairs to the kitchen because I want to scrub myself clean today after a week of 5-min showers. Actually I want to avoid the late-comer scene. There may be no dialogue but those scenes are usually the worst. I put it off for later.   I massage copious amounts of oil on kids’ heads trying to make up for instant noodles, lollipops, smartphones and excessive T.V. I hope I am making up in some way. I scrub them up, dress them and send them downstairs so I can wallow in the bathroom in peace. I massage oil, apply the face pack for good measure and think of soaking my feet but begin to feel I am taking too long. I then try to relax but hurry along at the same time. It is some auspicious day. When I finally descend downstairs feeling clean, smelling nice for a change, I am ravenous. I eye the kids in the hall watching TV and eating from banana leaves. I head to the kitchen. Nobody’s around. I find some vadais are already fried, payasam made, sambar, rice and potato thokku ready by the side. I grab a vadai and bite into it. There’s no salt in it I realize. I go out with the half eaten vadai and see that there’s no banana leaf in the Pooja room. Poojai is not over yet. You don’t eat before the poojai (Kids don’t count). I turn back to the kitchen and try to find a nook to hide my half eaten vadai in. I also know that there’s no salt in it. At that moment, somehow everybody emerges ready for Poojai. Maamiyaar heads to the kitchen to fry more vadais. I have just enough time to snuck the vadai in a corner. I walk out trying to look innocent, casual and purposeful. I don’t want to be stopped. I hold the terrible truth about the salt-less vadai batter. It breaks me to think I’d have to eat salt-less vadais. My mind races on how best to expose this truth before the vadais are fried. Just telling her is not an option. That’s not how we roll here. I ask the kids about the vadai. They haven’t eaten it yet. They’re too engrossed in TV. I manage to corner Jagan in the hall, I lower my...

Sweet Potato Kheer – Somberi Series

To celebrate my 50th post, I am posting an easy Somberi dessert recipe. This is so easy, so quick and tastes delicious. The khoa is the secret ingredient that elevates this simple fruit kheer to another level. The Khoa makes the kheer velvety, rich and luscious. I love adding un-sweetened khoa to my dishes. It is a wonderfully versatile ingredient. You should try it too. I’ve added it to curries and gravies with great success. I’ll share a khoa based gravy recipe sometime soon. Lately, I’ve been really swamped at work and haven’t had time to tell you too many stories along with the recipes. I know many of you were mighty relieved and I even noticed a slight upswing in my pageviews. But I’ll still tell these stories. The very first time I made Sweet potato Kheer, it was for my husband’s pot-luck at office and it created quite a stir as to what exactly it was. You see the kheer had thickened to a halwa consistency by lunch time and my husband had to spin it as a kheer-cum-halwa. All for good, as the guy responsible for cutlery didn’t bring them and I hadn’t provided spoons either. Halwa is a lot easier to eat by hand than Kheer. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 20 minsServes: 5-6 Ingredients Sweet Potatoes – ½ kiloMilk – ½ litreSugar – 1 cup (adjust)Unsweetened Khoa – 4 tbsp (optional)Slivered Almonds – a handful for garnishing Method 1.      Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into ½ inch thick rounds. 2.      In a wide pan, bring around half of the milk (1/2 litre) to a boil. Crumble the khoa and add to the pan. Stir well. Drop in the sliced sweet potatoes. The milk should be just enough to immerse the sweet potatoes. Cover and cook on low for around 15 minutes or till the sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft. 3.      Remove from fire. Let cool and run the mixture through a food processor/blender for a smooth consistency. Add a little milk if the mixture is too thick. 4.      Transfer the pureed sweet potato mixture again to the pan and simmer. Add sugar, taste and adjust the quantity. Mix well. Add some milk if it gets too thick. When the sugar has dissolved and it is a nice kheer consistency, remove from fire. Let cool down. Refrigerate till serving time. Serve topped...
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